Emotional Abandonment: Shut out by your spouse

Written by Dr. Dave Currie and Glen Hoos

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It’s a complaint I hear regularly from people looking for help for their marriages:“I feel distant from my spouse.” “I try to get my husband to open up, but instead he just shuts down.” “My wife just doesn’t seem interested in me anymore. I feel like we’re a million miles apart.” “I don’t know if I love him anymore.”

What we’re talking about here is emotional abandonment. Instead of physically leaving the relationship, your spouse simply checks out emotionally. They stop investing in the marriage, leaving their mate feeling detached and unwanted. To the outside world the situation can still look rosy, but in reality the relationship is dying a slow, quiet death.

How does a marriage reach this point? Sometimes it’s a slow slide into complacency, and other times it’s a little more sudden. Realize that if it’s a sudden abandonment, there likely is some precipitating event or incident between the two of you that needs to be resolved. On the other hand, if the deterioration has been more gradual, there are probably a lot of little things that have gone unresolved and are taking their toll on the relationship.

Here are some of the specific, primary causes of emotional distance between mates:

  1. Unforgiveness. Emotional abandonment is unforgiveness taken to its extreme conclusion. When we feel that our spouse has hurt us and we refuse to forgive them, we look for ways to protect ourselves from being hurt again in the future. Closing off our heart from the other person is an easy way to do this, but it has deadly consequences. Unforgiveness always leads to isolation. Overcoming unforgiveness requires a willingness to humble ourselves and seek forgiveness when we have hurt our spouse, and it also requires that we be willing to graciously extend forgiveness when our spouse has hurt us. This forgiveness step is based on a desire to re-unite.
  2. Callous treatment. When I am careless in how I treat my spouse, it gets old really quickly. Whether it’s discourteousness, unkindness, or something worse, it creates hurt that may start out small, but can grow into deep wounds as it festers over time. To avoid this, each partner needs to look at their own behaviour regularly and consider whether they are treating their spouse well. A mate, above all people, needs to be treated with gentleness and respect. Remember, your spouse is a gift to you, and they deserve to be treated as something precious.
  3. Lack of effort. Sometimes the problem is a little less obvious than unforgiveness or harsh treatment. It is easy, especially for men, to just assume that the relationship is going along just fine, and so we don’t put in as much effort as we once did. We start to take our spouse for granted, leading them to think that they are not important in our lives. When the marriage slips from being one of the top priorities in the heart of one or both spouses, the other person feels abandoned. This causes them to feel unwanted and then to withdraw into their own world.
  4. Lack of time. Many of us simply try to pack too much into a day. Ruled by the urgent, we fail to make time for the truly important: things like romancing, talking about issues and really developing a friendship with our spouse. We stay constantly busy, erasing quality “couple times” from our schedules. A marriage relationship cannot thrive if our contact with one another is limited to a quick bite of supper or a brief chat before bed. A good marriage requires weekly face-to-face time – both talk and fun.
  5. Fear of talking through issues. Emotional detachment does not just happen out of the blue; there is always something behind it. If one or both of the spouses has an inability or fear of talking through the issues in their relationship, then this kind of disconnect will be the likely result. Usually both know there is something wrong, but they are hesitant to bring it up because they fear their spouse’s reaction. Or perhaps they feel like they’ve been through this before and it hasn’t helped, so why bother? In these cases, there needs to be a clear second look at what it means to resolve conflict in a marriage – how to have a “good fight,” as it were, that really bring things to resolution. Without these skills, and a real courage to step up and deal with problems, the emotional distance will just continue to grow.
  6. Living in denial. A lot of times, when things have started to go a bit sideways in the relationship, we don’t want to admit that it’s happening. Often the person truly needing to make some significant changes is most content to deny the existence of any real issues. We kind of live in denial, as if it’s not really happening, or it’s not that bad, or things will get better in time. But living in denial doesn’t fix things; it only causes the marriage to deteriorate to the point where the couple just does not feel close anymore.

Working through emotional distance

The first step to dealing with emotional abandonment is to identify the root cause and to begin to deal with it. Don’t settle for living in isolation. Ask God for more in your marriage and then trust Him as you faithfully try to make changes. Here are some suggestions for re-establishing a loving connection with your spouse:

  1. Agree to talk. At some point you have to agree to talk about the problems that exist between you. If you’re going to resolve issues, there needs to be a mutual commitment to listen to the other person’s concerns and to work towards improving the situation. Don’t corner your spouse with an unexpected lecture, but set a time and agree to start to work through your issues.
  2. Be prepared. Before you have the talk, take the time separately to think through the unresolved issues that you’ll be discussing. What are your concerns in the relationship? In what areas do you feel you need to improve? What are your expectations of your spouse? To put your thoughts down on paper may be best, but either way, be prepared to be open and honest with each other about the real issues between you. Be sure to take the time to really listen to what your spouse is saying. Give each other uninterrupted time to share your view on things.
  3. Be direct but gentle. Neither of you has anything to gain by holding back your true feelings. Remember: unresolved issues lie at the heart of emotional detachment. So lay all your cards out on the table by sharing your hurts clearly. Don’t allow things to get out of hand. Be committed to talk through things sensibly. Take breaks to cool it if necessary but agree to continue. Ask each other the tough questions, and talk through the difficult issues that have been eating away at your relationship. Regardless of which partner initiated the wrong, you both need to work at resolving the problem.
  4. Begin to meet unmet needs. Often a person pulls back from the relationship because, in their mind, their needs are not being met. A healthy marriage demands that both partners actively work to discern the needs of their spouse, and work to meet those needs. Seek to understand your spouse’s needs and ask yourself how you can start to better express love by meeting these needs. Make your spouse and sorting things out your new priority.
  5. Deal with your own stuff. If I am feeling abandoned by my spouse, I need to ask myself a tough question: What have I done to drive my spouse away? Now it may not be only your responsibility. Nevertheless, you have to find out what you are responsible for and take ownership for your actions. Really listen to your spouse. Of course, there are things that your mate needs to deal with, and they may be withdrawing from you for selfish reasons, but that can’t stop you from taking the steps that you know you need to take. Both parties must be prepared to make apologies and extend forgiveness as part of your recovery from the emotional detachment.
  6. Intentionally re-engage. If you are to re-establish your emotional connection, it won’t happen by accident and it won’t happen overnight. You need to agree to make your relationship a priority and spend some quality time together. Plan a few dates and put each other in your schedules. It’s time to re-enter one another’s lives again.
  7. Act kindly. This may not be a revolutionary new idea, but it can have that kind of an effect on your marriage. You must act kindly toward your spouse. Small gestures of warmth, acts of kindness, and efforts to rekindle the romance between you will go a long way toward renewing your bond with one another. Do this from the heart with real commitment to make the necessary changes.
  8. Love unconditionally. Somebody has to break out of the negative cycle of eye-for an eye, poor treatment for poor treatment. You need to step out of the insult-for-insult cycle and respond differently. You cannot control your spouse’s behaviour, but you can control your own. Regardless of how your spouse responds, you must choose to treat them with love. This is not easy to do when your partner is not reciprocating, but it is what you vowed to do when you promised to love each other “for better or for worse.” And nothing breaks down emotional barriers like unconditional love.
  9. Allow God to work. I’m going to challenge you to ask God to change you. God wants your best and He’ll always be ready to take full responsibility for any life that is totally surrendered to Him. That also includes re-engaging with your spouse and getting attached in love again. God wants that and He will guide you in that, if you’ll allow Him to.

We’ve all got issues to work through in our relationships. Whether your problems stem from bitterness, unforgiveness, dishonesty, lack of kindness, unfaithfulness, or something else, God offers you His power to enable you to live in a way that honors Him. There’s no doubt in my mind that God wants your marriage to work and that you desire to have warmth and a close connection with your spouse. That’s His design. Let’s go after it.

Elma felt completely alone in her marriage. Read how she survived.

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228 Responses to “Emotional Abandonment: Shut out by your spouse”

  • Adam says:

    Oscar, I am NOT a mentor, here on powertochange.com, but a few years ago, their comforting words and advice, helped me through a very difficult time in my marriage. First let me say that I am so incredibly sorry for the loss of you child as well as marriage. I have three children and there is no way I could ever fathom what you have been through, but I can assume that it would be the worst possible experience a human being could go through. That being said, I’m trying to understand if you are asking for help/advice, or you if you just trying to make a point with regards to the article above. Clearly, your wife deflected her pain and anger (of the loss of your daughter) toward you as a coping mechanism. I know that this is fairly common when a couple lose a child and a huge percentage end up in divorce. You had mentioned that you are not religious. I’m not sure what your definition of “religious” is, but I do not consider myself “religious” either in that I do not get heavily involved with a single church, per say. I do, however have a very serious relationship with God and Yeshua. I cannot emphasize this strongly enough: That relationship has MIRACULOUSLY, helped me through my marital issues. If there is one thing that I would like for you to take away from this message is to try praying AT LEAST ONE TIME! And in said prayer, ask for WISDOM. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him”. Just for laughs, try it, and see what happens. I used to be like you. God is not a liar and He WILL answer this prayer for you. Now, I am a faithful believer. I will pray for you and your family.

  • Oscar says:

    You missed one: protection.

    This is an offshoot of callous treatment.

    My situation may be unusual – our daughter died, and we then had a flood four weeks later. My wife exploded at me repeatedly as I managed the funeral; if I told her what the funeral director, police, coroner, her priest (I’m not religious), cemetery manager or anyone else involved, she blew her stack. She even criticized me for asking her mother if she had had a good night’s sleep. I could do no right, and this continued.

    After a while, I realized that the best thing to do was not to mention our deceased daughter’s name at all – that way, I wouldn’t get yelled at. I handled probate court, the headstone and creating memorials on my own. For three years, she also reminded me that our deceased daughter was our least favorite child, and went out out of her way to come up with isolated examples of when I had slighted our daughter to prove her point.

    I suggested marriage counseling after 3 months, but she refused to go.

    We’re divorcing now (she filed, has blamed me for everything, and has left our surviving kids behind with me, moving 4 hours away) and I feel guilty about it. I can take plenty of the credit. At the same time, I went through a horrid situation not only without someone to share it with, but with someone who made it worse.

    If your spouse is staying away from you, it could be that they are afraid of getting anger or negativity blasted back at any comment. They may feel it’s better to be at the bowling alley.

  • Chris says:

    diane…so sorry to hear of your situation…your husband is obviously a very hurting person who appears not to want to get help and you are left in the middle of it all. these situations call for help obviously. when the person doesnt want it you can still get it starting from God. God understands your situation and wants to help you through his son jesus who died on the cross for you. as you open your heart to jesus, he will come and bring his wisdom to you so that you know how to handle this situation and give you his peace while you do. for more information on starting your relationship to God log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com. praying that jesus bings you his presence, peace and purpose to your life and your husbands freedom as well amen

  • diane says:

    I have been married 4 years . after about 5 months he started not talking to me very much he is also a hermit with other people. he talks to people when he out but if they get to close he will throw up a wall and close them out . He now might speak to me a total of 10 to 15 minutes a day. If we go for a ride he sits in silence . If i talk he does not even as much nod a response and always disagrees with what ever i say even if its some quit trivial. For the last year i have totally felt depressed and have tried to discuss this issue with him, but he goes silent and the next day he pretends like nothing happened like he sweeps it under a rug. Im tripping over the mountain that has been swept under the rug. does this mean he want me to leave because he wont say?

  • Aldo says:

    Steve, the main thing you need to do is put God first in your life by admitting that you are a sinner, that you want Him to forgive your sins, and to accept and receive His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

    You see Steve, Jesus is the answer to all your problems, whether they be big or small, financial or habitual, domestic or physical. He wants to be your redeemer, your healer, your deliverer, and your advocate. Turn your life over to Him, and trust Him to bring about what He knows is best for you.

    Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love for Steve. A love so great it is unfathomable. Help him to grasp the magnitude of that love. Help him to comprehend the sacrifice You made for him in sending Your Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for his sins, and the sins of all mankind. Lord, comfort Steve as only You can. Answer his prayer and desire to be a better husband to his wife, and a better father to his children. Grant him the wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ to know how to do that. Rebuke the enemy who wants to destroy that marriage and family, and cause the peace of the Holy Spirit to permiate their midst. Draw them all closer to You and to the Savior, in Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

    Steve, if you have not done so before, and you want to now, pray this prayer. Remember, God knows your heart and is not as concerned with your words as He is with your attitude.

    “Dear God, I admit I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ, Your Son, died in my place, paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Him as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to You, and ask You to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person You want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me, forgiving my sins, and for giving me everlasting life, in Jesus name, Amen.”

    Steve, make it a habit to read God’s Word on a daily basis. You will hear Him speak to you through it. Then be obedient to it. God bless.

  • steve says:

    I just realized that I have not truly put God and my wife and 2 beautiful children as a priority in life. I have taken her love for granted and expected so much. We have been married for 7 years and I have focused all my energy into work and myselfamily and trying to raise our children. She told me that she did not want to hurt me and told me that she is not in love with me. She said she has love for me but is not in love. This deviated me. I thought that if I could just provide for and protect them we would succeed and everything would just work out. I was not paying any attention to her needs and she has not directly told me her needs. She says we are distant and it is so true. She have been waiting for me to change but I just put more emphasis on providing by working and she is done. I am having trouble dealing with the hurt that I caused and my first reaction is to force talk and I fail to listen well. She said she needs space now and said she was already looking a places because she needs time. She is so smart and I love her so deeply, but I have hurt her emotionally so bad I don’t know what will happen and I am scared. I fear loosing her, our family, and I want nothing more to fix it. When we fell in love I devoted my self to her but now I have puT work first. We have had some trouble managing our finances and she works and goes to school. I work midnights and am on call. She has encouraged me to focus on my career and professional future. I have done the same for her thinking. I am now realizin what I need to change but I need some input and help from God. Please pray for me to become a better person and husband and father. I have faith in God but I gotta act on this and now I feel so hurt loosing her love. She is angry and fed up with the way our marriage is.. I want to change to make her happy and but I struggle with patience and I don’t want to force her, I want her to love me more than ever and I want to show her how much I love her.

  • Adam says:

    I am not a mentor, here on powertochange.com, but I had marital trouble a few years ago and the kind and sincere people on this site helped me out in my situation. I know that it’s impossible to thoroughly describe your situation so that people reading this truly understand your marriage’s dynamic and current status. That being said, do you think that maybe your wife is using you as a glorified baby sitter and ticket to a college degree, while you wither on the side? It sounds to me like she has checked out. At the very least, she has no respect for you. The first thing that you need to do is get on your knees and pray to the Lord for guidance and wisdom. JAMES 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally”. Than you need to cease with the empathy/compliments and take this time to work on yourself. You need to confront her about what your are witnessing happening to your marriage and how miserable you feel. Ask her to go to counseling w
    ith you. She has a responsibility, per her promise to God, to work on your marriage. Do you two go to church? Maybe now is a good time to start if you haven’t already. My marriage was in the tank a few years back. Prayer and Scripture not only comforted me, but it also completely turned my marriage around in a way that was almost miraculous. You can read my story further down the page. I will pray for you, your wife, your children and your marriage today. With the help of Yeshua and God The Father, you can turn this around.

  • J says:

    I have been married 4 years. We cohabited over a year before that. We havent celebrated our last two anniversaries due to busy schedules and it seems also a muthal dispassjon for ohr marriage. The arguments are better than ever. It used to be weekly. Now its monthly. She has lied to me, absconded with our children, spoken with guys who flirt with her behind my back, but hasnt done any of these things in yeArs That im aware of. She has gained weight. I never nag her about it and try to empathize when she mentions the subject of her body (which is a subject i always dread). I tell her shes beautiful daily, and initiate co tact like a touch to tbe back or shoulder and kisses daily. She rarely initiates these things with me. Sbe has not taken it upon herself to do anything that i want to do for over 14 months. She comes from the destroyed remnants of a family. My parents are still married. Shes the second person ive evdr been in a seriouz relationship with. our child is my first, her third (and im the third dad). I raise all the children as my own, and my parents are trhe grandparents to all the children. My parents and i sacrjfice so she can go to college. She sucks at apologjzing and she sucks at gratitude. She complains daily about her life and always rejects anything i suggest to improve it. When iz enough enough? I want my kids to have a mommy and a daddy but she seems to have this tendency to focus, notice, and remember only negative things. She matyrs herself for her contributions to the family, and devalues and minimizes my contributions to the family. I try several times each week to spend couple time with her but she always has an excuse. I found this site by googling “what do i do if my spouse doesnt want to spend time with me”… should i stay or should i go?

  • Chris says:

    Michelle…so sorry to hear of your situation…from your description your husband is making a mockery of what God intended for marriage. you have every right to a divorce. from what you say, your husband is an adulterer. unless, after talking with him he would want to change his ways of living, then i dont know why you would want to continue this fiasco with him but that would be up to you of course. one thing i am sure of however is yours and my need for God in our lives not only for the good times but especially in bad times such as these. i would recommend logging onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or clicking talk to a mentor above so you can find the only one who truly loves you and his name is jesus christ. my prayer for you is jesus love in your life and childs, that he would have mercy upon your husband to affect a change that would be permanent for the benefit of the three of you. i pray for his true repentance knowing that with God nothing is ever impossible. luke 1.37 amen

  • Michelle says:

    hello there.
    my husband and I have been together for 4years and after I gave birth he seems to be all distant.
    I feel so detached from him because of his behaviour. I don’t like the feeling.
    he has an ex wife and they still have contact and intimacy whenever they get the chance or whenever he visits her.
    I feel like a good for nothing that got married and gave him a baby.

    he gets his friends over. sit outside or in the living room having a good laugh while I am with baby isolated. I feel so dead from the inside.
    if you can help please do.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Hi John.
    It certainly is the case that we don’t know what we have until we begin to lose it. Particularly in a marriage, it’s so very easy to take the other for granted. I can empathize with you. It sounds as if there is much to hope for in your marriage, and your desire to get back on the right track and rebuild your relationship with your wife is encouraging.

    May I offer a few suggestions?
    Is your wife open to having a heart-to-heart talk about your marriage? She needs to know that you admit the problem lies with you for not having given her the attention she needs, desires, and should receive. She needs to know that you are sorry and that you want to change. Have you quietly shared these things with her?

    Do you think your wife would be open to the two of you talking with a counselor? If so, the pastor of your church (if you are attending one) would be a good place to start.

    I can also highly recommend a couple of books—
    The Love Dare, which was an off-shoot of the movie Fireproof. (If your wife likes movies, you might rent a copy of it and watch it together over a bowl of popcorn.) The book would be for you to read and offers dozens of ideas on how to “win back” your wife’s love, one day at a time.
    The Five Love Languages is also an excellent book to learn of how each of you gives and receives love. We can think we’re saying and doing all the “loving” things but our attempts might not be understood and accepted. If your wife is willing, you could read through the book together.

    Take it easy and take it slow. More than anything else, patience and love on your part are the order of the day. I’m sure the relationship didn’t grow cold overnight, and it will probably not be rekindled overnight either. But I know the Lord wants the two of you to stay together and to share the intimacy of love that only a committed husband and wife can have.

  • John says:

    Wife and I have been married coming up on 6 years, and she recently told me she wanted a divorce though she hasn’t taken any steps to further that. We have been pretty distant for the past few months. I know for my part I have failed to put our relationship front and center, and basically got very complacent. However the thought of losing her has me tied in knots to the point where I have trouble thinking about anything else. Some days are close to being like the good times, but there are days when she is so distant that I can barely get her to talk. Any advice for breaking through the wall that I helped put up between us and to get my marriage heading into the right direction?

  • Aldo says:

    Anna let’s pray: Father God, thank You for saving Anna and her husband. Lord, work in both of their hearts and lives drawing them ever closer to You and the Savior, Jesus Christ. Cause them to realize that they need to completely submit themselves to You so that they can resist the devil- James 4:7. Bless their efforts of reconciliation, and rebuke the enemy in their behalf. Throw a “hedge of protection” around them, and cause love to rise up in their hearts for one another, in Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

  • Anna says:

    thank you for that dream. I will see how tomorrow goes and maybe he will be more responsive and open to talk. I’m so grateful to talk to someone who is a Christian and who is not involved in our lives. thenk you x

  • dream says:

    Anna…Its good he will go to church with you, hope it will become a normal for him. Hope he will find some home group from church he can go and participate in praying and activity. I would suggest to read the Bible with him. Some passage you read, some he and talk about it. Then pray together. There is a power in Gods word. Believe its promises. Your husband needs to know Jesus more and his power. If he is still drinking he is putting a drug into his body and its affectiing all his life. I think alcohol making him so passive to everything-you , family, God. When he will draw closer to God he will draw closer to you anyway he is putting to much pressure on you by his current behavior. Pray for him too and see what will happen. If nothing change for some time I would suggest serious talk with him and temporary separation.

  • anna says:

    yes he was saved a few years ago, he doesn’t read the bible tho and he won’t pray with me, Ive suggested he comes to church tomorrow and he said yes. he does still drink and says he controls it. in all honesty he doesn’t drink like he used to and doesn’t get nasty either which would be a definite marriage breaker if it happened again, he won’t give it up completely, which to me he is still feeding his ‘habit’.

  • dream says:

    Anna.. Is your husband christian? Did he gave his life to Jesus, is he reading the Bible, praying, going to church? You wrote that he was alcoholic. Did he stop drinking?

  • anna says:

    dream, I’m afraid that does none of those things for me or us. I do all house and gardening even looking after the car. I am the total career for our children, he shows little interest. we never go anywhere unless I plan and push for it. he never buys me things. maybe he thinks going to work is his way of showing love? there are things such as I need glasses but and dental care but he doesn’t offer to help financially for them. he pays for the bills, well most of them and I pay for everything for the kids, and I do without and put my kids and his needs first. I have thought about being more social with friends etc but to be honest, I just want to spend time as a family and with my husband, not drinking etc

  • dream says:

    Anna.. Maybe your husband is showing you love different way. Like buying you something what you like, take family out for dinner, helping you at home or doing something for you. Men show love by doing something. My husband is also not too much hugging, kissing type of man or showing emotions. But over the years I saw that he is showing me love by helping in kitchen, cleaning, taking us out for a lunch, buying me what I like, or babysitting kids so I can have time for myself. If I need hugs and kisses I just go to him and hug him and kiss him and he respond. Sometimes a little time apart can help if you or he travel somewhere (business trip or visit parents, relatives or friends.) Passion can come back.

  • Anna says:

    thank you for your advice. I shall continue to give and be positive in our marriage and also pray more about this to give me the strength. it can be so difficult when you feel lonely in a marriage and it is hard when you don’t feel loved back. I truly believe that god put us together but I doubt that he want me to feel this way. I try to talk calmly, I never argue, i ask him how he is feeling and try to share his burdens, but it is always a one way street and i get no fulfilment in our marriage. I look at my beautiful children and I want so much to stay as a family unit. how long do I carry on for tho? I am running out of energy to keep trying and being knocked back and once again feeling alone. I will pray to the lord to help me x

  • dream says:

    Anna… dont be sad and despair. You are not alone. There are many women like you, treated the same way-being emotionally shut down. Men are different they dont understand emotions so much and they dont like to talk about it. They dont like when woman is sad or crying or telling them about their problems, because they think that they need to give a wife advice, but opposite is true. Woman in time of trouble just needs listening ear not advice. I suggest that you will find a woman friend and talk and pray with here about you problems. Just dont critize your husband in front of him or you friend. Receive your strength from Jesus and image that your marriage is service to him. Give and it will be given to you. Smile be happy thats what men likes and hopefully one day your husband will open too. It seems like something shut him down. Be patient.

  • Chris says:

    anna…sorry to hear you are struggling…its true that marriages go through different stages. one good thing in your case is that you have children by your husband. that is something to truly be thankful to God for as so many couples go childless. people are always changing. sometimes to our likes, sometimes to our dislikes. 1 peter 3 in the new testament encourgaes the wives to continue with their husbands and if they are disobedient on anything, God can do the changing. men do not respond positvely to their wives trying to change them. even the best marriages have difficulties. we need to not make marriage our foundation in life because the same person we marry may very well disapoint us over and over. the key to happy living is not a happy marriage, but rather a happy relationship with our heavenly father through his son jesus christ. that is the one and only relationship we can count on not changing. if you do not know jesus as your lord and savior you can log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or by clicking talk to a mentor above. i pray jesus would minister his peace to you and his way of looking at things with a heavenly view. God bless you!

  • Anna says:

    hi everyone, I’m pleased to find a Christian advice page and really hope you can help me. I have been with my husband for almost 20 years. the early years were troublesome with my husband being an alcoholic and treating me badly. Although we had bad times in the past, we moved through it together and I forgave him as he was my first love and the love of my life. also as I am a Christian I wanted to stay together and work through it. We later got married and have now to beautiful children. We have had difficult times and have always got thought it. since I have finished working to have our children, which we decided together, our relationship if pretty much non existent.. I feel like I have been shut out emotionally. We have a terrible sex life with no physical touch from him. he never cuddles me or kisses me. I always make the first move in cuddles etc. I have spoken to him several times in the last few years about my worries but he doesn’t want to discuss it. he says he loves me and he is just tired…but all the time? I know that can’t be true as he finds time and energy to meet with his friends for a drink. all the effort Is from me, I plan days out etc he never suggests doing anything. I have tried so hard to keep our marriage alive and have still given him love and affection with nothing in return. I can’t cope anymore. if ever I am upset he says he doesn’t want to hear it. what should I do? I have thought for years that I should leave but my faith has always kept me here

  • Chris says:

    anita…sorry to hear of your situation…after having six kids with you, i dont think your husband has a right to complain about a lack of intimacy. sounds more like that he is looking for an adventure and using you to as an excuse to permit himself this illicit activity. the bible calls men to love their wives as jesus does the church, sacrifically and unconditionally. your husband needs to understand that and give his heart to jesus and stop hiding behind human emotions and rather act like a man and face up to his real spiritual issue of not walking with jesus christ as his lord and savior. you can too. by logging onto kmowingjesuspersonally.com or by clicking talk to a mentor above, you can find out how to live victoriously in this world, with, without or despite what your husband does by receiving the great love jesus has for you. i pray you would and that through your example of faith, your husband would come to christ as well. blessings!

  • Anita says:

    I have been married for 18 years, together for 20 years. We have 6 kids. My husband has recently told me he is not in love with me anymore. Says our lack of intimacy throughout our marriage has made him feel unloved, hurt, angry etc. I am a child sexual abuse behavior and have been working on my intimacy issues. Husband has been verbally abusive and that makes me shut down. Husband said he checked out in Nov and started seeing another woman. They went out 3 times, kissed, emails and now just texting-not sexting. He says he is developing strong feelings for her. She is 25 and husband is 40. He says I have changed so much the last month-addressing all the issues he had with me but says I only want him now that he wants to divorce. Says he is not leaving me for this woman and that he no longer believes in marriage as everyone cheats. Says he can’t forgive himself for what he has done and he can’t let go of all the hurt I have done to him. We have been connecting emotionally and intimately, going through marriage counseling. Still feels the same. I just found out he is still texting the other woman. Says he is conflicted. Feels like running from me. He feels he is going to never marry again and just wants to be free. I really love my husband and don’t want a divorce. Can he fall in love with me again? Can our marriage be saved?

  • Curtis says:

    Landra, thanks for the content. I have been begging for professional help for some time, but more recent but with no success. I am actually at the point of accepting that 2 options are available, do like her and pretend that all is well and do not bring up any issues that I want to talk about or just separate. I will try to function in my role in the family and place all topics for discussion on the back burner. When I do this she is happy. I think that if she and my 2 kids are happy then I feel that I have served a purpose in the world. Unfortunately it does not feel fair to me but these are the only options. My spouse is an introvert, slightly bipolar and we have had some intense arguments over the last 15 years of marriage. She is unwilling to come get help so that we can have a bright future but rather just stay happy in her bubble and not discuss stuff that upsets her. I think it is my duty to not upset her and will just ride along this journey despite not being conten ted. I plan to seek happiness in my kids and in her happiness and see how that plays out. I do think that maybe trying this approach rather than talking will probably make some progress but regardless. I also share the sex dilemma that you seem to have and for the greater good will place that topic off the table so that both she and my kids can have a healthy home. I do think that your husband is in a good situation since you are willing to try. What I have realized is that a spouse needs to have a buddy to talk to sometimes and then they may be enlightened to stuff they will otherwise shut out the spouse on. My wife is an introvert and has no friends, literally, I am actually instigating for her to have a girlfriend to go out with and have conversations with. She did go out about 10 months back with someone similar to her and I will try to recreate that opportunity. Maybe it might work for you too? who knows? It is my alternative for her refusal to get professional help. I think if she converses with someone similar maybe it might help rather than staying locked up.

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the difficult situation that you are in. It sounds like there are layers of emotional issues happening in your home, not just between you and your husband, but between him and other friends and family. Some of this could be as a result of the brain surgery, but it sounds like there is more happening her than just that since it worsened two years ago.

    I don’t suppose that he is open to seeing a professional counselor or pastor is he? Having a third party is always a good thing because they can be objective. If that isn’t an option, then it may help for you to see someone on your own since it sounds like the situation is very complex.

    Another option is to fill out the ‘Talk to a Mentor’ link on this page and one of our online mentors will walk with you through this situation. http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/

    Freya, I don’t know if you have a faith that you practice, but I would like to pray for you right now:

    Dear Heavenly Father, I lift up Freya and her husband to you right now. It sounds like their marriage is in a difficult place and I ask that You would help them to find some common ground on which to build up trust. Give her hope in the midst of the heartache that she is living with right now. Amen

    I hope that you can find a third party to help talk this through!

  • Freya says:

    I have had my marriage come to a place were there is no more talk considered, my husband said he had tried to negotiate the problem out for decades, the fact he wanted a life the same as everyone else, and every time he would say something like this the answer he received was after all there is always tomorrow, now he wont consider this statement at all, not after a surgery he should not have survived in 2001 taking a tumor off his brain stem, and another they had to restart his heart twice in 2009 that left him without feeling in his legs. Two years ago any agreement of his cooperating with any wish anyone else wanted over his came to a total halt, He decided I was going to be a wife at least one time before he booted me out the door and he raped me, The family holidays we had traditionalized, are no longer on any term’s but his, he just tells people he does not like now to take their rear home if they don’t like his presence and I saw him escort one couple to the door last forth of July and say get out, because he caught them smoking pot in his house. we had allowed people to be responsible for themselves for decades, but now he is not at work he says he always hated coming home to that smeell after work on holidays, and I did hear the complaints when he did, but he was not a holiday participent because he had to work so we allowed it, t is now I am home, its my house, my food, and my air , you are to do as I want in my house or find another place to be a sponge. And several good friends of his fathers and mine he has called a waist of human space to their face when they get buzzed, Just because he was expected to work when he really did not have to or want to he is punishing us for forcing him to.
    Now he is no longer in rehab, or working he walks into his house, tells everybody they are useless bags of flesh, and I wonder if I had not promised so many years ago if he would just back off and accept his place as his father and others wanted if he would be like he is now, mean, controlling, his own opinion is now the only one that counts now in his home and he s willing to back it up with pain and violebnce, My husband not only slammed the door in my face if somebody opens that door with no warning they will get a cannon ball straight in the face, with his standing there saying who told you I was going to stand for that.

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